How Jesus Became God : The Great Courses: Christianity

  • by The Great Courses, Bart D. Ehrman
  • Narrated by Professor Bart D. Ehrman
  • Series: The Great Courses: Christianity
  • 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The early Christian claim that Jesus of Nazareth was God completely changed the course of Western civilization. What exactly happened, such that Jesus came to be considered God?
To ask this question is to delve into a fascinating, multilayered historical puzzle - one that offers a richly illuminating look into the origins of the Western worldview and the theological underpinnings of our civilization. This fundamental historical question and its complex answer speak penetratingly to the spiritual impulses, concerns, and beliefs that have played a seminal role in our world, even as they reveal the foundation of history’s most global religious movement, and fresh insights into the Western world's single most influential human being.
Tackling all of these matters and more, Great Courses favorite Professor Ehrman returns with the unprecedented historical inquiry of How Jesus Became God. In 24 provocative lectures, Professor Ehrman takes you deep into the process by which the divinity of Jesus was first conceived by his followers, demonstrating how this conception was refined over time to become the core of the Christian theology. A distinguished scholar of Christianity and New York Times best-selling author, Professor Ehrman develops the inquiry with meticulous research and in-depth analysis of texts. In these lectures, Ehrman reveals that the theological understanding of Jesus as God came about through a complex series of factors and events, each of which must be understood in order to grasp this most extraordinary and historically pivotal story.
In the enthralling inquiry of How Jesus Became God Professor Ehrman lays bare the diverse elements that combined to produce both an astonishing true-life story and one of history’s most significant developments. Join a renowned biblical scholar in grappling with this pivot.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Vey informative

Where does How Jesus Became God rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's the best lecture I have heard.

What other book might you compare How Jesus Became God to and why?

There is no comparison.

What about Professor Bart D. Ehrman’s performance did you like?

He was very objective and unbiased.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No, it was a lecture.

Any additional comments?

This is an excellent lecture from a historical perspective on how Christianity developed, and evolved. This is not a fundamental view, but a historical view.

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- Bob Watson

More Needs To Be Said

What did you love best about How Jesus Became God?

It is a very good and though presentation but is a bit slippery at times. Be sceptical in listening.

What did you like best about this story?


Have you listened to any of Professor Bart D. Ehrman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. About the same.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

See extensive review bellow. I wrote it even before finishing the lecture because he does not mention the artifact.

Any additional comments?


The lecturer rightly tells us Christianity began when followers of Jesus began to believed they had been visited by Jesus after his death. Further the lecturer rightly tells us this had nothing to do with an empty tomb and rightly observes non-Christians often attribute hallucinations and that Christians often do not call these hallucinations.

Hallucinations or not visitations ARE described in spiritual rather then corporal terns more often then not. For instance, apostles talk and walk with him not recognizing who he is until revealed. Accordingly the phenomena described are not at odds with either definition. A distinction without much of a difference.

However, I have one very serious challenge to the lecturer regarding tombs. We have a physical artifact that I am convinced confounds the entire discussion; the shroud of Turin. Lets get one thing straight from the start. The Carbon 14 test was contaminated by a medieval cotton patch interwoven with the linen cloth. This is not even worth much discussion and ranks up there with Piltdown man and is a scandal.

But that's just for starters. The surface of the linen was pressed with tape in numerous areas to collect debris for testing. The tape samples collected pollen and mineral residue that are spine chilling. For instance, pollen from a thistle plant ONLY found in the Jerusalem area was prolific in large amounts around the head area. And the mineral samples were consistent with Jerusalem minerals such as might be found in a rock cut tomb.

And there is a little bit more. The linen cloth is a very expensive 3 to 1 herringbone weave that is hank bleached. Hank bleaching rather eliminates medieval provenance because such an expensive weave would NOT have been hank bleached in medieval times. It would have been prepared as a very clean white bleach by a method not known in the first century.

And so I ask myself when, where, and by whom would an expensive hank bleached linen have been procured to wrap what is clearly and forensically a victim of crucifixion. An image of a man with side wound, Roman scourge marks, head puncture wounds, crucifixion marks on a shroud full of Palestinian pollen.

I do not claim this is Jesus's burial cloth. I do, however, require someone to give a better explanation before I dismiss it.

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- David "Hellicopter Man"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-25-2014
  • Publisher: The Great Courses